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Thread: More corporate welfare... Big Oil

  1. #1
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    More corporate welfare... Big Oil

    This is the kind of stuff that makes voters crazy. Either get rid of the subsidies and let the free market work or fail... or let the feds step in and regulate the oil industry. Right now, big oil has it both ways, and we get to pay for it....


    Congress has big questions for Big Oil By H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer
    2 hours, 26 minutes ago



    Big Oil is once again being called on the carpet. Senior executives of the five largest U.S. oil companies were to appear before a congressional committee Tuesday where they were likely to find frustrated lawmakers in no mood for small talk.

    "These companies are defending billions of federal subsidies ... while reaping over a hundred billion dollars in profits in just the last year alone," complained Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., in previewing the hearing.

    The lawmakers were scheduled to hear from top executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Shell Oil Co., BP America Inc., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips, which together earned about $123 billion last year because of soaring oil and gasoline prices.

    Markey, chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, said he wants to know why, with such profits, the oil industry is steadfastly fighting to keep $18 billion in tax breaks, stretched over 10 years.

    The House last year and again on Feb. 27 approved legislation that would have ended the tax breaks for the oil giants, while using the revenue to support wind, solar and other renewable fuels and incentives for energy conservation. The measure has not passed the Senate.

    The oil industry has argued on Capitol Hill and at the White House that the tax breaks are needed to assure continued investment in exploration, production and refinery expansions. President Bush has promised to veto any such bill, saying that the oil companies should not be singled out.

    The threat of nationwide $4-a-gallon gasoline, perhaps this summer, and $100-a-barrel oil is producing strong political reverberations, even as lawmakers acknowledged there is little that Congress can do to bring prices down.

    On Monday, Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, said that the president should release oil from the government's emergency reserve to put more supplies on the market, saying, "We are quite clearly in the midst of an energy emergency." He noted the bankruptcy of Aloha Airlines, blamed in part on high jet-fuel costs.

    The White House has repeatedly rejected use of the oil in the federal Strategic Petroleum Reserve to influence prices.

    The American Petroleum Institute, which represents the large oil companies in Washington, sought Monday to get its message out ahead of the congressional hearing.

    Oil company profits in total dollar amounts are huge because the companies are huge and must be so to go up against giant multinational competitors in a global market, API President Red Cavaney said during a conference call with reporters.

    In terms of return on investment, "we make an acceptable return" but one in line with other industries, Cavaney argued.

    Congressional hearings and the probing of skeptical, frustrated senators and congressmen are nothing new to executives of the biggest oil companies.

    In May 2006, the top executives of the same companies to be represented Tuesday were grilled on their spending and investment priorities in light of soaring oil prices. The cost of a barrel of oil at the time was $75.

    Two months earlier, executives of many of the same companies were brought before the Senate Judiciary Committee and questioned about the "merger mania" that some senators argued was behind the high oil prices.

    In November 2005, the chief executives of the five largest U.S. oil companies sat shoulder to shoulder at a Senate witness table and sought to justify their profits. At the time, Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., reflected the views of many of his colleagues when he talked of "a growing suspicion that oil companies are taking unfair advantage."

  2. #2
    How much $$ per Gallon is Oil Company Profit?

    How much $$ per Gallon is local/state/federal taxation?

    How much profit (as a %) does Big Oil Make? How much profit does our Government make? Who is entitled to that profit more?

    What costs more per gallon, Gasoline or Bottled Water? Should Bottled Water Companies be on Trial today too?

    How much did a Barrel of Oil cost in 2000? How much does it cost now? Did the price at the pump go up the same percentage?

    Do you agree with Hillary Clinton, i.e. "I want to take those Oil Company Profits away from them"?

    Will some poeple ever be happy, or will it take the end of corporations completely to do so, the end of profit, and a Socilaist America to bring them happiness?

    Only in (today's) America does being good at what you do, profitable, and employing thousands of Americans by providing a vital product become the vehicle for hatred and disdain. Of course, we cannot expect those who so vocally despise Oil Companies to live without the Oil.........

    Que CR and his "CEO's Are Evil" side of this issue.

  3. #3
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    In 2004 I was getting fed up with gas prices going higher, it just annoyed me. So I bought into the IYE (Dow Jones iShares energy fund through the market). This has acted like a hedge. If the price of oil goes up I can be ticked off each week that I'm paying $50 to fill the gas tank or smile in that my stock portfolio, which now includes IYE, is increasing. Pretty simple strategy. Rather than complaining about things, pointing fingers at others (whether its people, corporations, government, etc.) just find a way to participate. If you can't beat 'em, profit off them! :yes:

    [IMG]http://img519.imageshack.us/img519/8042/iyelx4.jpg[/IMG]
    Last edited by jetstream23; 04-01-2008 at 10:50 AM.

  4. #4
    [QUOTE=Warfish;2459340]What costs more per gallon, Gasoline or Bottled Water? Should Bottled Water Companies be on Trial today too?[/QUOTE]


    Do Bottled Water companies get billions in subsidies for R&D?

    The profit isn't the problem warfish it's the subsidies.

    Im not worried tho, John McCain will take care of this problem first thing he does when he gets into office ;)

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=bitonti;2459437][SIZE="4"]The profit isn't the problem warfish it's the subsidies[/SIZE].[/QUOTE]

    Hmmmm.

    You raise an interesting point. We don't want to give taxpayer money to a profitable company? Very interesting...

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=bitonti;2459437]Do Bottled Water companies get billions in subsidies for R&D?

    The profit isn't the problem warfish it's the subsidies.

    Im not worried tho, John McCain will take care of this problem first thing he does when he gets into office ;) [/QUOTE]

    I don't know WHAT the "Big Water" companies get from our Government, and I'd be willing to be that neither do you. Coke and Pepsi, you think they don't rake in the Govt aid too?

    And if subsidies are the issue, fine lets get rid of them. I'm okay with that. But while we're at it, how about we get rid of the excessive taxation on the consumer too? Bet I'd be willing to end subsidies before most of our Liberal friends would be willing to end the taxation/extortion.

    And I would think you'd have noticed by now Bit, I find John McCain to be a horrid choice who will not get my vote. Mocking him doesn't bother me, which I know was your intent.

  7. #7
    not you but there are some posters in this forum who seem to be under the delusion that McCain will cut pork.

    Warfish i don't know what excessive taxation you are referring to. compared to europe we get off light.

    the founding fathers said "no taxation without representation"

    they didn't say just "no taxation"

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;2459445]Hmmmm.

    You raise an interesting point. We don't want to give taxpayer money to a profitable company? Very interesting...[/QUOTE]

    If a company is that profitable, then the temptation of more profits should be a stronger motivator than government subsidies.

  9. #9
    [QUOTE=bitonti;2459471]Warfish i don't know what excessive taxation you are referring to. compared to europe we get off light.[/QUOTE]

    If I wanted to live under European Socialism my friend, I'd move myself back to Scotland. But I guess i won't have much of a choice for long, given the direction we appear to be headed.

  10. #10
    Well, is the logic behind the subsidies to protect the workers of said company from potential job loss?

    I mean, is the Gov't just choosing one of two choices?

    Either we give money to the company or we end up giving money to the 1,000s of workers who end up getting laid off?

    I am just curious if thaat is a factor....

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=Warfish;2459448]I don't know WHAT the "Big Water" companies get from our Government, and I'd be willing to be that neither do you. Coke and Pepsi, you think they don't rake in the Govt aid too?

    [B]And if subsidies are the issue, fine lets get rid of them. I'm okay with that. But while we're at it, how about we get rid of the excessive taxation on the consumer too? Bet I'd be willing to end subsidies before most of our Liberal friends would be willing to end the taxation/extortion.[/B]

    And I would think you'd have noticed by now Bit, I find John McCain to be a horrid choice who will not get my vote. Mocking him doesn't bother me, which I know was your intent.[/QUOTE]

    But that's the point. We ARE paying for the subsidies to corporations through our taxes. You want a tax cut? Start by eliminating $18 billion in tax abatements to Big Oil.... But that will not happen. Ever. And if Big Oil keeps complaining that the cannot compete against multinational oil companies that are propped up by foreign government, then step in a take them over. So much for free market theory... it's only good until your company fails. If Exxon can't compete, who can?

  12. #12
    [QUOTE=bitonti;2459471]not you but there are some posters in this forum who seem to be under the delusion that McCain will cut pork.

    Warfish i don't know what excessive taxation you are referring to. compared to europe we get off light.

    the founding fathers said "no taxation without representation"

    they didn't say just "no taxation"[/QUOTE]

    I don't know about your taxes, But my taxes have gone up. My real estate taxes are up substantially and my State tax rates have gone up. On top of that by inflating the money supply, the sales tax has gone up. If you are a high income earner or experienced bracket creep and are paying AMT and live in a liberal State with lots of social programs and you probably are in the 50% range in taxes if you also own a home.

    As far as representation, because the US Senate doesn't represent proportionally based on population, Federal taxation is the only place I'm not fairly represented.

  13. #13
    [QUOTE=long island leprechaun;2459548]But that's the point. We ARE paying for the subsidies to corporations through our taxes.[/quote]

    Of course we are, thats how Govt. subsidies work. We are alos paying for welfare and unemployment too, which do you think helps working Americans more, cheaper gas, or welfare?

    [QUOTE=long island leprechaun;2459548]You want a tax cut? Start by eliminating $18 billion in tax abatements to Big Oil....[/quote]

    You actually think we wouldn't still pay that? Oil Companies would simply raise there prices to cover the new cost created by the loss of subsidies. We pay for it either way, but with Subsidies the comapnies (American ones) live on, without them, Foreign Nationalist Companies live, and ours die. Then every drop of gas will be from a foriegn source.

    But I am sure Flower-Power is right arund the corner to fix all our enemry needs, right? I won't hold my breath.

    [QUOTE=long island leprechaun;2459548]And if Big Oil keeps complaining that the cannot compete against multinational oil companies that are propped up by foreign government, then step in a take them over.[/QUOTE]

    Ah, the Socialist answer to all problems, Big Inefficient Tax-Payer Funded Govt. Controlled Industy.

    Whats hard to understand here? Our Oil Companies are hamstrung, not allowed to drill where the Oil is, not allowed to build new refineries.

    We (as in Dems) want to remove the subsidies that keep them viable in a Global Economy vs. State Run comapanies, AND (as Hillary says) they want to above a nd beyond that take ALL of their profit away for "green energy".

    Then we'll complain when they go under. But no, we won;t, becaus eth GOVT will come to the rescue, and instead we'll want to Govt. Control them (i.e. Govt. stealing a Private Company and it's Assets) and then, ha ha, we'll all be happy when GovGas charges us $18.00 a Gallon?

    I don't think so.

    Whats funniest to me, is that we want to end subsidies to what keep us all moving (gasoline) but many want to massively increase funding for "green" enegry that is ineffeicient today, unproven, and most money down the toilet on fantasy with no proven upside. I mean really, is national economic suicide really that inviting?

  14. #14
    [QUOTE=Warfish;2459653]Of course we are, thats how Govt. subsidies work. We are alos paying for welfare and unemployment too, which do you think helps working Americans more, cheaper gas, or welfare?
    [/QUOTE]

    In what bizarro world is gas getting cheaper?

  15. #15
    [QUOTE=Winstonbiggs;2459565]I don't know about your taxes, But my taxes have gone up. My real estate taxes are up substantially and my State tax rates have gone up. [/QUOTE]

    My taxes are tiny but I have to pay a 4% wage tax for living in the city of Philadelphia. S--t happens if you don't like it move.

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=bitonti;2459679]My taxes are tiny but I have to pay a 4% wage tax for living in the city of Philadelphia. S--t happens if you don't like it move.[/QUOTE]

    My wife and I are thinking about that and the idea of retiring outside of the US for tax and cost of living issues is part of the equation. I'm hoping the Democrats balance the budget and put in some reasonable regulations on derivatives, keep taxes at a reasonable level so that will not be necessary. Fortunately I'm extremely mobil and adaptable.

  17. #17
    [QUOTE=bitonti;2459677]In what bizarro world is gas getting cheaper?[/QUOTE]

    I could be wrong, but I believe he's saying without the government subsidy, gas would be much more expensive...and that is the better of two evils compared to welfare.

  18. #18
    [QUOTE=Warfish;2459653]

    You actually think we wouldn't still pay that? Oil Companies would simply raise there prices to cover the new cost created by the loss of subsidies. We pay for it either way, but with Subsidies the comapnies (American ones) live on, without them, Foreign Nationalist Companies live, and ours die. Then every drop of gas will be from a foriegn source.

    [/QUOTE]

    These subsidies not only are an artificially born cost by the entire society, by artificially keeping the price of oil lower than it should be we have given it a competitive advantage over alternate energy that might otherwise get traction without government subsidies needed to even the playing field. Competition might actually drop the price over time?

    I agree with you that the answer isn't to subsidize the rest of the country through socialism, but if we are going to have a free market system with the government providing rules of transparency, there has to be a sense of fairness other wise the system will rightly break down with everyone looking to get their fair share.

  19. #19
    [QUOTE=OrangeJet;2459688]I could be wrong, but I believe he's saying without the government subsidy, gas would be much more expensive...and that is the better of two evils compared to welfare.[/QUOTE]

    in the big picture i disagree. Artificially low gas prices have lead our country to an unhealthy dependance upon Middle Eastern and other bad (Venezuela) countries. We meddle in the affairs of these countries for decades and then people wonder why things like 9-11 happen.

    In the long run cheap gas was not a blessing it was a curse. And I would argue MORE harmful to the collective than welfare.

  20. #20
    [QUOTE=Winstonbiggs;2459687]My wife and I are thinking about that and the idea of retiring outside of the US for tax and cost of living issues is part of the equation. [/QUOTE]


    I don't know that there are any better places to live than USA but if you can find one, Good Luck and God Bless.

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